Long live the Queen...
So many individual and personal accounts of encounters with Queen Elizabeth II are emerging, so I thought I might start this blog with mine. I have been in the Queen's presence twice. Or so I always thought. But I was wrong.
For my entire life, I believed the Queen made an impromptu visit to Coomandook Area School in 1963. I vividly remember our class being lined up on the bitumen bus driveway to greet the Royals who dropped in on their journey from Adelaide to Melbourne. But that never happened. Apart from absolutely no physical record of the event – and the 1963 Royal Visit schedule showing they flew from Melbourne to Adelaide, never ventured anywhere beyond Elizabeth, and sailed from Adelaide to their next port – no one else has the memory anyway. Somehow, for whatever reason, my nine-year-old self created a memory of an event that never took place. Truly strange.
The second interaction with the Queen, however, was absolutely real. In 1986, Elizabeth toured Aberfoyle Park High School and we were treated to the full experience, roof snipers included. My nine-year-old self was gratified.
Fantasy novels abound with royalty, queens and kings and princes and princesses. History also is clogged with royalty. It’s a strange how we humans have to be subservient to someone or something more powerful than ourselves – and even when those individuals and families are questionable in their ethics, as some have been and are, we still somehow see them as superior or different to ourselves.
And to the blog: writing has struggled to find time in recent weeks for varied reasons. However, I can report that the fourth novel in The Last Wizard series is now at 45,000 words – almost halfway through. Not much to share – spoilers mainly, so I’ll keep the progress to myself.
I have an app on my phone counting down the days until I step out of a school for what I plan to be the last time as a teacher/educator. Right now, the app reads: 102 days, 22 hours, 8 minutes and 40 seconds. Wow. I am so excited at the prospect of being able to devote my energy and time specifically to writing, to chasing a personal dream that has been dangled before me since 1990 when Pan Macmillan offered my first contract. I’m also terrified that I’ve left it too late – that I was given a couple of chances before to take the leap but I chose the conservative path and missed out – and my biggest fear is that I will never publish anything again. I know, self-publishing is extremely doable, but getting a book together and actually selling lots of copies are vastly different goals and activities. I have an awful lot to learn.
So, 45,000 words is good. I want to finish this draft before Christmas. I need to get cracking.
Writing is my passion. Ideas, opinions, beliefs, experiences expressed through language - through words and images - pervade and create my life. Writing is my voice, my soul, my self. My dream is one day writing will sustain my life...